efficient supply chain

Posted June 29, 2016 / By admin / 0 Comment

How to Create a More Efficient Supply Chain

If you’re searching for a way to make your supply chain more efficient, we don’t wonder why. Billions of dollars are lost every year by inefficient supply chains. Try these methods to make your supply chain as efficient as it can be.

Implement barcodes

Barcodes and asset management software allow you to track your products so you can discover bottlenecks or inefficiencies in supply chain. Implementing barcodes allows you to track product movement in real time whether your product is in a warehouse, in transit, or at its final destination. Once you have a barcode system in place, don’t forget to check back in and monitor the data its collecting. While barcodes will make employees more efficient during the day, they won’t make a big impact unless you address the flaws they point out in your supply chain.

Go paperless

Filling out forms and filing them away is a nightmare, especially when you need that data at your fingertips. Investing in management software will give you immediate access to the historical data you need. Are you thinking about implementing a proof of delivery system? Going paperless can actually increase the amount of deliveries your team can make per day.

Don’t neglect quality

Efficiency without effectiveness will make all of your hard work go to waste. Invest in the right tools to get the job done. If you hire an inexpensive carrier just to save a buck, remember that you can be signing yourself up for extra costs because of product damage and missed shipments.

Organization is key

Whether you know your top-selling items off the top of your head or you rely on your software to tell you, be sure that you always have these products on hand. You don’t want to deal with a shortage, which results in extra costs, employee frustration, and angry customers. Once you have a sufficient stock of your popular items, keep them organized near the loading dock so they’re ready to go out the door.

Consider cross-docking

Inventory is expensive, and you only want to keep as much on hand as absolutely necessary. Increase the efficiency of your supply chain by incorporating a cross-docking strategy. An effective cross-docking strategy will reduce handling time and cost of inventory by delivering products directly from an inbound truck to the outbound truck. Is this the right method for you? It’s perfect for temperature-sensitive items and combining smaller shipments into one truck.

Ask for help

Outsourcing parts of your supply chain management has a bad wrap because you can lose control over quality. But deciding to outsource some of your processes to another company can create lucrative opportunities. Remember that trying to do everything internally can create inefficiencies, especially if your vendor is more efficient than you. Save time, stress, and money be exploring options outside of your company.

Always be Improving

There are a lot of buzz words floating around the supply chain industry. “LEAN”, “kaizen”, “six sigma” and other popular phrases are thrown around like confetti. These aren’t trendy words to stuff into a presentation; they’re proven methods for making a more efficient supply chain. Your company’s goal should be to incorporate these beliefs into your process to increase efficiency. For example:

  • LEAN: Discover the fat in your supply chain system and eliminate it. If something is not adding value to your supply chain, eliminate it.
  • Kaizen: Continuous improvement is key when it comes to making change in your company. Your supply chain won’t change overnight, even with massive overhauls. All you need is a little tweaking here and there. Start within the four walls of your company before expanding this process to the rest of your supply chain.
  • Six Sigma: Are you striving for a perfect supply chain? You can easily integrate the same quality management practices you use for manufacturing to your supply chain.

The road to efficiency is different for every company. But you don’t have to make that journey alone. Contact Bar Code Direct to learn about our customized, not canned, solutions to your supply chain needs.